Israel’s Largest Hospital, Sheba Medical Center, Sends Delegation to Help Volcano Victims in Guatemala

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An Israeli team of doctors, who are on the forefront of disaster response around the word, is now on the ground in Guatemala helping to save lives after the eruption of a volcano that has killed more than 100 people, with 200 still missing. Sheba Medical Center sent a group of plastic surgeons and burn experts to treat the victims.

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Prof. Elhanan Bar-On, Prof. Josef Haik and the Sheba team in Guatemalan hospital

Sheba Medical Center knows no borders or limits when it comes providing cutting edge emergency care. Emergency response is what we do all over the globe.

Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer has sent a highly trained emergency response team to the areas hardest hit by the Fuego volcano at El Rodeo in Escuintla, Guatemala. The President of Guatemala sent a plea for help and as always, Sheba made it a priority to immediately help those in need and arrived last night, Thursday, June 7th. They are now working with local hospitals to assess the most urgent needs.

The devastating volcano has killed more than 100 people and caused hundreds of injuries like lava burns and lung injuries from the volcanic dust.

The delegation is headed by the Health Ministry’s emergency department and the team includes Director of the Israel Center for Disaster Medicine and Humanitarian Response Prof. Elhanan Bar-On, Director of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Prof. Josef Haik, Senior Anesthesiologist of the Burn Center Dr. Gregory Trodler, plastic surgeon Dr. Moti Harats and Nurse Aviva Yona. These plastic surgeons and burn specialists from Sheba Medical Center are also being accompanied by other lung experts from Israel.

“We wanted to get on the ground as soon as possible and start helping the people of Guatemala” said Dr. Elhanan Bar-On, Director of the Israel Center for Disaster Medicine and Humanitarian Response at Sheba Medical Center. “We were able in a short period of time to assemble a top medical team from Sheba and other hospitals with the support of the Israeli Ministry of Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the local health authorities in Guatemala, who welcomed us with open arms upon our arrival. Sheba Medical Center knows no borders or limits when it comes providing cutting edge emergency care. Emergency response is what we do all over the globe.”

Bar-On and his team are often the first emergency responders on the ground – from earthquakes in Haiti to cholera outbreaks in Zambia. Now his team will give hope to the victims of this horrible volcano and help them recover.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the medical team's quick response: "Last Wednesday I spoke with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales about dispatching a medical mission to Guatemala to help with the disaster. Saturday night, I received a report about their work. They are already at work on the ground. We are all proud of our mission and of our doctors."

Sheba doctors are expected to stay 10 days in the region.

About Sheba Medical Center

Born together with Israel in 1948, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer is the largest and most comprehensive medical center in the Middle East. Sheba is the only medical center in Israel that combines an acute care hospital and a rehabilitation hospital on one campus, and it is at the forefront of medical treatments, patient care, research and education. As a university teaching hospital affiliated with the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel-Aviv University, it welcomes people from all over the world indiscriminately.

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